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This Trump administration effort to increase military spending is likely to spur controversy. Here’s why.

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This Trump administration effort to increase military spending is likely to spur controversy. Here’s why.

WASHINGTON — White House officials are planning to increase military spending for fiscal 2020 by using temporary war funding accounts to get around federal budget caps, a controversial move that could undermine negotiations with lawmakers.

In an essay for Real Clear Politics on Monday, acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought wrote that the move is needed because “Democrats insist on demanding more social spending in exchange for continuing to fund defense spending,” while President Donald Trump has called for cuts.

“Expanding the use of (overseas contingency) funds remains the administration’s only fiscally responsible option in meeting national security needs while avoiding yet another increase to the spending caps,” he wrote.

He acknowledged that the move is likely to make fiscal conservatives “uncomfortable” but called it necessary given political opposition to Trump’s past fiscal plans.

The move comes as several lawmakers and budget analysts have pushed for reductions in the temporary war funding accounts, designed to cover only the ongoing operations overseas.

Critics say that because the accounts aren’t affected by congressionally mandated spending caps, they have become a hiding place for a host of desired program resets and expansions by the Pentagon.

The size of the war accounts has shrunk in recent years, from more than 0 billion in fiscal 2017 to less than billion this fiscal year. Vought did not specify how large the president’s request for fiscal 2020 will be, but Politico reported the fund could top 4 billion.

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In the last few months, Trump has discussed a 5 percent cut for all federal agencies next fiscal year, as well as a 0 billion defense budget, an increase of more than 4 percent. The president and conservative defense lawmakers have argued the money is needed to rebuild military might after more than 17 years of war.

But congressional Democrats have already panned the military proposal as too high and said that adequate appropriations for the Departments of State and Homeland Security are as critical to national security as Pentagon spending. They have promised to make funding parity a key point of upcoming budget negotiations.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., blasted the war funding reports as “a gimmick to prop up defense spending” by the Trump administration.

“This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to make a mockery of the federal budget process, obscure the true cost of military operations, and severely shortchange other investments vital to our national and economic security,” they said in a statement.

In the last two fiscal years, lawmakers reached a compromise on defense and non-defense spending levels to avoid spending caps put in place in 2011. But those caps return again next fiscal year and limit defense spending to 6 billion and nondefense spending to 2 billion.

Vought said raising the cap for defense spending is necessary but lifting it for the other programs “would be a bad deal for taxpayers.” He called the national debt a looming crisis for the country.

“It is time for Congress to join the president in his commitment to cutting spending, reducing bloated deficits, and getting our national debt under control,” he said. “America’s future generations are depending on them.”

Military spending: The case for spending more, not less.

Military spending: The case for spending more, not less. – Keep in mind that backing a larger, more formidable military is not the same thing as backing a more The point of investing in a more capable military is not to topple foreign governments at the drop of Now, however, America's European allies are more likely to engage in peacekeeping and Those who say that we can't afford to spend more on our military have it backward: We can't afford…We ask all patriots who appreciate the evil we expose and want to help us savage the NWO with Mustang Medic's recording showed many buses and vans, some marked as Military, entering the Secondly, members of Congress – Senators, Congressmen and women and staffers were most…Spending on defense would increase 1.7% to $753 billion—much less than Republicans are likely to support but more than called for by progressives, who "A proposed increase of $13 billion in military spending is far too much given its already rapid growth at a time of relative peace," said Rep.

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